Reduction in National Tort Cost Called 'Encouraging First Step' Toward

U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform President Lisa A. Rickard released the following statement in response to the Dec. 14th release of the Tillinghast Towers-Perrin annual
study of the cost of America’s tort system, which shows an overall 5.5 percent decline in 2006 to $247 billion:

“We are heartened to see that the massive cost of America’s legal
system has at least temporarily stopped its meteoric rise of the past two
decades. We hope that this downturn is a first step toward reducing costs
in a system that is still more than twice as expensive as the world’s other
industrialized nations.

“A long-term tort cost decline is necessary to return the nation’s
civil justice system back toward one of true justice and away from
out-of-control abusive lawsuits.

“The news of dropping tort costs may also be an explanation as to why
the plaintiff’s trial lawyers are right now waging an all-out,
multi-million dollar lobbying effort in Washington and in state capitals to
create more legal causes of action and, thus, more lawsuits.

“If the plaintiffs’ trial lawyers successfully convince Congress and
state legislators to create more ways to sue, the downturn in tort costs
will only be a temporary blip in the long-term upward trend of America’s
out-of-control increasing legal costs.”

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